When the hot Malawian sun shone down on my scalp one fine Saturday morning, it started to dawn on me that my overland solo expedition across five southern African countries on a budget had commenced. My heart beat with anticipation.

Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that on a budget, I would chase islands in Mozambique, swim in the devil's pool in Zambia, survive a coup in Zimbabwe and see the southernmost part of Africa where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Related: I survived a coup in Zimbabwe

Now, five southern African countries later, I have learnt a lot about backpacking in Africa. Here, I share the three things I have learnt so far.

How to be content

 In some parts of Africa, access to basic things like clean water, clothing and education is a privilege. I saw people barely surviving but they were probably the happiest people I have ever seen.  It has made me want to see more, do more and complain less. I realized that having no internet access is not the end of the world and sometimes the best stories may come from seating in a chicken bus when out of nowhere a goat lands on the windscreen.


How to think creatively

Thinking outside the box is significant when you are a solo traveller on the road. People on social media assume that travel is nothing but glitz and glamour. Budget travel is anything but. One time all the buses to my next destination were booked, another time I got scammed by a taxi driver and then there is that time I pre-booked a hostel with bugs. I learnt that when adjusting to new situations I am able to think creatively.


Sometimes I will have to work independently to achieve my intended goals.

Due to different circumstances, my friends couldn’t team up with me on this trip and the thought of travelling alone was nerve racking. After careful and thorough research and careful planning, I travelled alone and in the process collected incredible memories.

Budget travelling taught me how to be a hardcore explorer. Nowadays when it comes to managing time and money, I always strive to do the right thing for me and to never settle!

Are you interested in travelling across southern African countries on a budget?

In the next few blogs, I will be sharing my experiences on traveling by bus/overland  through Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. It has been done and it can be done. 

Want to know how I afford to travel? Have a look at my cheat sheet:

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4 thoughts on “3 Things I have learnt from travelling on a budget Across Africa

  1. May 23, 2018

    I've been scrolling through your blog for an absolute age now and I love it! So inspiring and I love the emphasis on the accessibility of travel. I really hope, when I finish uni, I have the guts to potentially travel solo just in case I can't organise a group of people to travel with.

    Dear Disha | A Year Abroad Blog (escribo en Español también) - deardishablog.wordpress.com

    • Miss Rioba

      May 23, 2018

      Thank you Disha. You will travel solo if your people don't come through and I bet you'll meet incredible travellers on the road. All the best!

  2. kemzykemzy

    November 7, 2018

    OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG yaaaaaas this it truly goals. I love your travel blogs . I have recently started a food and travel blog and we should travel together sometimes.. I loooooooooooooooooooooooooove this. New sub.

    • November 7, 2018

      Thank you for the kind words Kemzy! I will be organising small grouped trips next year. Maybe you could join me we travel together! 🙌

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